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Iconic barn gets facelift

Iconic barn gets facelift
Iconic barn gets facelift
Scott Huntsinger paints the final coat on the “A” in “Mail Pouch” at the historic barn on the Lanesville Heritage grounds. Huntsinger wanted to emulate the original painter, Harley Warrick, as much as possible. Photos by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

The historic red barn located on the Lanesville Heritage grounds, which was painted with the recognizable words ‘Chew Mail Pouch, Treat Yourself To The Best’ in 1993 by Harley Warrick, has been refurbished and is in the process of being repainted.
‘People love this barn around here,’ said Dylan Walmsley, who, along with Scott Huntsinger, is working on the structure.
Walmsley and Huntsinger live in Franklin County, near the Ohio state line. To avoid having the two men make the two-hour drive from home each day, Lanesville Heritage officials let them stay throughout the week in a building located on the grounds.
‘That has been really nice,’ Walmsley said.
‘It’s just a beautiful area,’ Huntsinger added. ‘We’ve had unbelievable hospitality.’
The duo has been in Lanesville for nearly a month and hopes to wrap up the project this week or next, barring inclement weather.
The sides of the barn were re-enforced with Western Red Cedar, one of the best woods for barn construction, Walmsley said.
‘It’s got to last as long as we can make it,’ he said.
The original painter of the barn, Warrick, was hired by Mail Pouch to paint barns all across the country.
Walmsley said Warrick painted all of the barns by hand, without the use of stencils, and he and Huntsinger will imitate Warrick as much as possible.
‘It takes a very serious effort to make it authentic,’ Walmsley said. ‘We’ve made every effort possible to replicate what he did.’
Warrick once estimated that he painted 20,000 barns in his life.
The Mail Pouch barns were painted from 1890 all the way until the 1990s. Barn owners were paid just $1 to $2 a year for the advertisement in 1913, which amounts to about $20 to $40 today. But the main incentive for the barn owners was the fresh coat of paint which helped preserve the wood. Mail Pouch would paint one or two sides of the barn, depending on the visibility from the road, red or black, and would paint the rest of the barn any color the owner wished.
The barn restoration project in Lanesville was paid for with funds from the Harrison County Community Foundation.